•The upcoming Budget and four year plan provides an opportunity to implement pro-enterprise employment friendly policies.
•Subsidy scheme for employers and reduced PRSI central to jobs plan.
•Costs to business must be reduced to allow employment creation.
ISME, Thursday 3rd November 2011.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, in response to the latest live register figures, published today (Thursday 3rd November), has called on the Government to use the upcoming Budget and the four year plan as an opportunity to address the ‘desperate’ unemployment situation. The Association outlined that concentrating on pro-enterprise polices, will greatly assist the labour intensive SME sector to maintain and create employment.
According to ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, “The high level of joblessness and the continuing threat of unemployment are among the biggest issues adversely affecting the Irish economy, but little has been done at official level to address this ongoing crisis. Unfortunately, the labour intensive SME sector is hindered in job creation by the difficult economic environment exacerbated by an ever increasing cost burden on businesses”.
“In addition to an all-out attack on costs, we need a clear and targeted policy on employment maintenance, job creation and social welfare to move individuals from the dole queue back into employment. This policy will only succeed when targeted at the labour creating SME sector. The upcoming Budget and four year budget strategy therefore needs to address overall costs to business, to include labour, the tax wedge and replacement ratio”.
.Among the initiatives that can be introduced, include;
•The introduction of a scheme similar to the Employment Incentive Scheme, which operated in the 1980’s, which would provide a financial subsidy to employers for taking on additional unemployed individuals as additional staff. This proposal would be revenue positive for the exchequer.
•A reduction in the top rate of employers’ PRSI to 8.5% to help alleviate the cost of employment.
•The reintroduction of the Enterprise Support Scheme fully funded and extended to enterprises with less than 10 employees.
“Business will not be in a position to create jobs unless the cost base is reduced. The Budget provides this Government with an opportunity to introduce policies which will make it attractive to go to work, make it profitable to employ more and make the country cost-competitive again,” concluded Fielding
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